Live blog: Land Day global protest

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Pro-Palestinian activists in Lebanon on Land Day 30 March, 2012 (Photo: Hassan Bahsoun)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Welcome to Al-Akhbar's coverage of Land Day, where thousands of people are expected to protest globally over the Israeli suppression of the Palestinian people.

Event organizers have said that protests are expected in the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Britain, Europe, the United States and elsewhere.

We will be doing our best to cover everything going on but if you hear of something we have missed tweet it to @joedyke and we will try and get it on the site.

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  • More photos of brutality

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    05:59pm

    There are some incredible images coming out of today's protests.

    Israeli police officers mounted on horses attack crowds during clashes with Palestinians on Land Day, after Friday prayers outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City 30 March, 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Ronen Zvulun)

    A Palestinian is arrested by Israeli policemen during a demonstration by hundreds of Palestinian protesting as they mark Land Day in Israeli annexed East Jerusalem. (Photo: AFP – Menahem Kahana)

    Palestinian protesters hold up their national flag as they try to reach the border between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip, during Land Day demonstrations in Beit Hanun. (Photo:AFP – Mohammed Abed)

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 17:59

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  • Reliving the 1948 nabka

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    05:16pm

    Al-Akhbar's correspondent in south Lebanon Serene Assir says that the protests are calming and people are starting to head home.

    She also met a Palestinian man with one arm who remembers the Nakba in 1948.

    "I spoke to one man today whose name is Deeb Misbah Shalabi. He says he was born in 1938 in Haifa and when he was ten years old he was with six other children and picked up a toy he found on the streets. It was loaded with explosives by Israelis and he lost his arm."

    "After that in 1948 his family fled to Akkar by boat and then by land to Sour (Tyre, in South Lebanon)."

    "I asked him whether he had abandoned returning to Palestine and he said 'Not for a minute do I lose hope because my grandchildren love Haifi and Jerusalem more than I do. So if it is not my grandchildren who return it will be their grandchildren.'"

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 17:16

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  • Live bullets fired in Qalandia

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    04:42pm

    Israeli forces are firing live bullets on protesters at the Qalandia check point in the West Bank, according to an activist on the ground.

    Diana Alzeer said that Israeli forces had moved up from rubber bullets when it became clear they could not control the crowd.

    She said there were no reports yet of anyone being hit by a bullet as the crowd had scattered.

    "The protest is large in number, we marched and got gassed and rubber bullets were used.

    "A while ago they started using live bullets on the protesters and the youth throwing stones. The
    soldiers advanced into the main street at qalandia so it became impossible for the palestinians to march closer as they would immediately start shooting gas and rubber bullets!"

    Follow Diana on Twitter at @ManaraRam

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 16:42

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  • Remembering the Nakba

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    04:24pm

    Al-Akhbar's correspondent in south Lebanon Serene Assir says that the protests are calming and people are starting to head home.

    She also met a Palestinian man with one arm who remembers the Nakba in 1948.

    "I spoke to one man today whose name is Deeb Misbah Shalabi. He says he was born in 1938 in Haifa and when he was ten years old he was with six other children and picked up a toy he found on the streets. It was loaded with explosives and he lost his arm."

    "After that in 1948 his family fled to Akkar by boat and then by land to Sour (Tyre, in South Lebanon)."

    "I asked him whether he had abandoned returning to Palestine and he said 'Not for a minute do I lose hope because my grandchildren love Haifi and Jerusalem more than I do. So if it is not my grandchildren who return it will be their grandchildren.'"

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 16:24

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  • Mass protests in Jordan

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    03:59pm

    With everything else going on we haven't mentioned Jordan yet, where more than 15,000 people have held a peaceful sit-in near the border.

    The AFP wire said the activists waved Jordanian and Palestinian flags, with demonstrators carrying banners reading: "Freedom for Jerusalem and freedom for Palestine," and "Jerusalem, here we come," as they gathered in Kafrein, some 10 kilometres from the border crossing and barely a kilometre and a half from the frontier.

    "We will not forget you Jerusalem. Down with the Wadi Araba agreement," they chanted, referring to the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel.

    "The Israelis have stolen Palestine. We will return to the Holy Land and restore our rights. We will not forget their crimes," Hammam Said, leader of Jordan's powerful Muslim Brotherhood, told the demonstrators.

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 15:59

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  • Images of violence

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    03:53pm

    More images are coming in of clashes in Palestine.

    People carry an injured Palestinian protester during clashes with Israeli security forces at a demonstration marking Land Day at Qalandiya checkpoint, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, 30 March 2012.

    Palestinian protesters shout during a protest marking Land Day, near the border between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip 30 March 2012. (Photo: Reuters/Suhaib Salem)

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 15:53

  • Hamas and Hezbollah speak on same platform in Lebanon

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    03:45pm

    There has been a lot of focus in recent weeks on the supposed falling out between Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah and the Palestinian group Hamas over the situation in Syria.

    It had been unclear whether the two parties would appear on the same platform but Al-Akhbar correspondent Serene Assir confirmed that they had done so this morning in Nabatiyeh.

    "There had been speculation that they would not be on the same platform but they did so today."

    "Speakers from Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Jamaa Islamiya all spoke."

    She said that activists from all groups were at the march and there had been no signs of tension between them.

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 15:45

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  • Protesters surrounded in different areas

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    03:21pm

    More and more worrying reports of protesters clashing with Israeli security forces.

    The Qalandia checkpoint has seen fresh attacks by Israeli forces, while there are reports of violence in Gaza, Bethlehem and elsewhere.

    Activists have said that one person has been killed but this has not yet been confirmed by any authority.

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 15:21

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  • Commemorating the attack

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    03:07pm

    For those who aren't aware of the history of Land Day it is a protest that has been happening annually since 1976.

    Following the 1967 war Israeli forces expanded their occupation of Palestine, confiscating thousands of acres of private and public Arab land.

    In the coming years there were protests across Palestine and in 1976 Palestinians declared a general strike.

    Israeli troops dispersed the protest violently and attacked protesters, killing at least six unarmed civilians. Since that day every year Palestinians have marked the protests

    Many Israelis have condemned the killings and an article in the Israeli paper Haaretz says the day is an "ongoing wake-up call to Israeli Jews and Jewry worldwide to understand that land, freedom and equality are an inseparable package."

    The article goes on to talk about the plight of Palestinians inside the Jewish state.

    "They are inferior citizens in a state that defines itself as Jewish and democratic, but in reality is neither," it says.

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 15:07

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  • Violence in the West Bank as Israel suppresses protests

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    02:45pm

    There are clashes in the West Bank, with Israeli forces firing tear gas and water cannons at the crowds as well as reports of rubber bullets being shot at protesters.

    Activists were due to march to Qalandia checkpoint to protest but have been attacked by security forces.

    Activists are saying dozens have been injured by Israeli forces and arrests are also being reported.

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 14:45

  • Peaceful atmosphere on Lebanese border so far

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    02:39pm

    Al-Akhbar correspondent Serene Assir is in south Lebanon and has described a positive atmosphere so far.

    She said many activists had traveled from across the world to express support for the Palestinian cause.

    Sui Raus, from Japan, had come to Lebanon especially for the event.

    “Its a very important day for my brothers in Palestine. He has been working on civil society projects with the Palestinians for 10 years. This marks the start of the liberation of Palestine.

    Luis D'elid, an Argentinian labor activist, said it was important to express solidarity.

    “The way that they live is very close in spite of the geographical distance.” Gaza war – in Argentina it was summer but it was also a political summer. Nevertheless tens of thousands of people demonstrated in

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 14:39

  • Concerns about violence on Lebanon border

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    02:36pm

    In Lebanon so far the protests have been peaceful, with thousands of people meeting at Beaufort Castle in Nabatiyeh to mark the day.

    11 people were killed last May on the Lebanese border during Nakba Day protests, when Israeli forces opened fire on activists protesting.

    On Wednesday Global March to Jerusalem spokesman Zaher Birawi said he thought that if there was violence it would be along the border.

    “We hope that it will not happen but if it is going to happen the weakest border the Israelis might have is maybe Lebanon. They did the same last year, although this year the place where the demonstration will take place is kilometers away from the border. Even if they go closer it is Lebanese land and they have the right wherever, he told Al-Akhbar

    “So we hope that there will be no violence but the Israelis might attack Lebanon because their relation with Jordan will not allow them to attack Jordan, they might attack Lebanon because they have no diplomatic relations with Lebanon and they might take that as an excuse.”

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 14:36

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  • Apologies for delayed start

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    02:34pm

    Firstly many, many apologies for the fact our live blog is only just getting going.

    We have been having technical problems at Al-Akhbar HQ and are just dealing with all the gremlins now.

    Should be up and running and if you would prefer to read this in Arabic then there is a live blog there too.

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 14:34

  • Welcome to Land Day coverage

    Live blog: Land Day global protest

    10:57am

    Welcome to Al-Akhbar's coverage of Land Day, with a series of protests planned globally under the banner of the Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ).

    GMJ spokesman Zaher Birawi said the day would help put pressure on Israel to reform.

    "The global march to Jerusalem is very important as a start of a global peaceful, popular way of protesting against Israeli actions in Jerusalem."

    "Our aim is to mark it as an international event to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians and to protect Jerusalem."

    "We hope it will unite all citizens of the world to put an end to Israeli disregard of international laws."

    Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 10:57

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